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Best Cyber Monday deals under $30: $18 Roku, $19 Google Home Mini, $25 Fire TV Stick 4K and more (just updated)

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

Black Friday  may have ended according to the calendar, but it’s slid right into Cyber Monday, and many of the deals available over the weekend are still going strong. You may not want to splash out big bucks on a TV or laptop, but there are still deals for you on speakers and streaming services even if you have a small budget. We’re collecting the best deals for products available under $30, so if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or a late-days-of-Hanukkah gift, these are the deals for you. Right now, for example, nearly all of Amazon’s device deals are still available, so strike now to get your hands on a Fire tablet, Echo Dot or Fire TV stick. Oh, and throw in supercheap subscriptions to Amazon Music, Hulu or Disney Plus while you’re at it.

Cyber Monday deals under $30 available now

These are the Cyber Monday bargains that are available right now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The JBL Clip 3 debuted last year for $72, and CNET’s David Carnoy called it “a top-notch waterproof travel speaker.” Today, you can get it for just $30 on Amazon, which is an absolute steal.

Read our JBL Clip 3 review.

Walmart

Sorry, Bond and Bourne: Pound for pound, there’s no action-movie series that delivers the goods like Mission: Impossible. This set includes all six titles in both Blu-ray and digital formats. It normally sells for anywhere from $48-$60.

The bundle is also available at Amazon for the same price.

Best Buy

It’s identical in almost every way to the legendary Instant Pot, just priced considerably lower. And if you’re not sure about Insignia, Best Buy’s “house brand,” look no further than the 4.7-star average rating on this thing from nearly 2,000 buyers.

For an affordable Roku streamer that does support 4K, you’ll want the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. It was an Editors’ Choice winner here on CNET last year with an overall score of 9.6 out of 10. 

Read our Roku Streaming Stick Plus review.

David Carnoy/CNET

They’re back: Best Buy again has the JLabs JBuds Air on sale for $30. They normally retail for $50. JLabs makes a lot of true wireless earphones and this is its most affordable — and frankly, the only one I’d buy. It’s a decent set of true wireless earbuds that’s a relative bargain at $30.

David Carnoy/CNET

We saw this deal last year but it’s still a good one: Sony’s micro Bluetooth speaker, the SRS-XB01, is on sale for $15 at Best Buy.

Read our Sony SRS-XB01 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Updated for 2019 with more storage and a faster processor, the Fire 7 remains an incredible buy at its regular $50 price. So for $30? Yeah, there’s honestly no better choice for anyone looking to read, watch videos, play games and all that. It’s an especially good pick for kids.

Read our Fire 7 2019 review.

Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

If you’re looking to take the plunge on Hulu’s video service, now is the perfect time. This weekend only, you can scoop up the first year of the service for just $1.99 a month — $4 less than the usual price. Yes, there are ads, and yes, the price goes up after the first year. But this is still a pretty sweet deal.

See complete details.

Amazon

If you’re a newcomer to Amazon’s music-streaming service, it’s hard to beat a buck for four full months of service. After that, you’ll pay the regular rate of $9.99 per month, though you can cancel if you like, without penalty. 

Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot deals are about as routine as the tides, but this one is about as good as they get. The common sale price is $30; occasionally it might dip to $25. So $22 is notable. It’s the third-gen Dot (but not the slightly modified new one with the clock), great for flinging Alexa commands in just about any room, decent for playing tunes.

Read our Echo Dot review.

Assuming you’re not already vested in the Echo ecosystem of smart speakers, the Home Mini is a no-brainer buy at $19. Granted, there’s a newer model (the Nest Mini) that’s even better, but that’ll run you $49. The Home Mini still sounds very good for its size and offers a wealth of Google Assistant-powered features. It’s even better if you pair two together.

The link below will take you to Walmart, but the Home Mini is also on sale for $19 at Best Buy, Target and several other stores.

Read our Google Home Mini review.

Sony/Marvel

Last year’s hottest PS4 game originally sold for $60 — and that was without extra content. Right now, you can get the GOTY Edition (which includes lots of extra goodies) for $20. That’s up from its all-time-low weekend price of $15, but it’s still a must-have for PS4 owners. Lots more game deals here, many of them under $30.

Read our Marvel’s Spider-Man review.

Have you found any other great Black Friday deals for under $30 that are worth sharing? Tell us about them in the comments!


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How to win Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019



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Expired and sold out deals

Roku

Has there ever been a cheaper Roku streamer? Not to our recollection. The Walmart-exclusive comes with an HDMI cable and three-month subscriptions to both Hulu and Pandora. Take note, however, that the SE doesn’t do 4K video.

This deal is sold out. 

EarFun

EarFun makes one of my favorite AirPods alternatives, and while I haven’t yet had the chance to test this speaker, it sounds great on paper: Waterproof, Bluetooth 5.0, support for dual-speaker pairing, 24-hour battery life and USB-C charging. Use promo code EARFUN12 to get this exclusive deal.

This deal is expired. 

Originally published earlier this month. Updated with new deals.


CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.





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How Google’s Founders Slowly Stepped Away From Their Company

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SAN FRANCISCO — About a month after Donald J. Trump was elected president in 2016, Larry Page, the Google co-founder, was summoned along with other prominent tech executives to a meeting at Trump Tower.

It was a rare public appearance for Mr. Page. He sported a tan suit and shifted in his seat as he introduced himself and noted (incorrectly) that his company was probably the youngest in the room. “Really glad to be here,” said Mr. Page, who did not look glad to be there.

By the time he was again summoned in 2018 — this time to testify to Congress on tech’s various problems — Mr. Page had all but abandoned the roles typically associated with leading one of the world’s richest and most powerful companies. He didn’t show, and senators placed an empty chair and his placard alongside the other speakers.

On Tuesday, Mr. Page and Sergey Brin, his Google co-founder, said they were stepping down from day-to-day executive roles at Alphabet, Google’s parent company. While the move seemed sudden, it was the culmination of a yearslong separation between two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent founders and the company they began 21 years ago.

For some time, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin have drawn down their daily involvement in the company, ceding managerial tasks to deputies so they could focus on a variety of projects, including self-driving cars, robotics and life-extension technology. They left the often messy business of running Google itself to Sundar Pichai, a trusted deputy who became Google’s chief executive in 2015.

Tuesday was the capstone of that split. The founders named Mr. Pichai as the chief of both Google and Alphabet, while they will remain on Alphabet’s board of directors. Mr. Page and Mr. Brin still hold 51 percent of Alphabet’s voting shares, giving them effective control over the company — and Mr. Pichai, if they wish.

In a letter announcing the change, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin compared their 21 years at Google to raising a child, saying now was the “time to assume the role of proud parents.”

Mr. Page and Mr. Brin helped unleash the modern internet and Silicon Valley as cultural and business phenomena. Over the past two decades, they oversaw a company that was central to one of the most consequential periods in the history of business.

That singular innovation gave rise to a company and product that functions as an effective tax on the internet. Billions of people navigate the web through Google’s search box, and it charges a toll in the form of tracked and targeted advertising.

Google has grown to be dominant in several markets. Its search engine handles nine out of 10 internet searches, and the company’s Android software powers roughly three-quarters of the world’s smartphones. And for a generation of young people, YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006, has all but supplanted television.

But to some observers, the more powerful Google became, the less interested its founders appeared to be in running it.

“They’re accidental entrepreneurs,” Mr. Greenstein said. “Given their origins, it’s not surprising. They probably still harbor a desire to be a professor with a lab.”

After Mr. Page and Mr. Brin formally founded Google in September 1998, they turned out to be skilled businessmen. Still, investors worried that they were not ready to run what many rightly believed could become one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.

By 2001, Google’s board pushed the founders to bring on an experienced executive to lead the company. Mr. Page and Mr. Brin picked Eric Schmidt, a former chief executive of the software company Novell, as Google’s new chief executive, in part because the three had bonded at Burning Man, the arts festival in the Nevada desert.

Credit…Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

While the founders were initially wary of having a boss, they quickly warmed to Mr. Schmidt. One of the benefits of no longer being chief executive, colleagues told Mr. Page, was that he would no longer have to perform tasks like talking to advertisers and investors, according to “In the Plex,” a book about Google’s beginnings by Steve Levy.

Instead, the founders sought out new efforts, such as mapping the world, digitizing books, developing artificial intelligence and creating new smartphone software to rival Apple’s iPhone.

“I didn’t think of Google as a transportation company,” Mr. Thrun said. “But Larry thought of Google as a company that pushed innovation in any area.”

Mr. Thrun led Chauffeur under Google X, the so-called moonshot lab where engineers were encouraged to build science-fiction projects they thought might never work. Many of their projects did fail, like space elevators, jet packs and teleportation, but others are still in development, like delivery drones, energy-producing kites and internet-beaming balloons.

Like most of the futuristic projects at Google, the lab was the brainchild of the founders. Mr. Brin particularly wanted something to work on because he was getting bored in management, said Michael Jones, a co-founder of Google Earth, who spent 11 years at the company.

In 2011, Mr. Page retook the chief executive job atop Google, getting something of a hero’s welcome. Yet the pattern — wanting to be in charge but not wanting to deal with the day-to-day job — would quickly repeat itself.

He seemed no more interested in the menial aspects of the job. He was frustrated by having to deal with things like executive infighting and turf wars that are an unavoidable part of corporate life, according to three former executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Even then, well before the recent employee uprisings, he had grown disillusioned with what he saw as entitled behavior from Google engineers, said two other executives who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. He also started to experience health problems, most notably paralysis of his vocal cords. Executives who met with Mr. Page, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he sometimes used an electronic speaker to amplify his strained voice.

“Larry is like a professor who’s a business star. I don’t think he has any appreciation or love or desire to run a company actually,” said Mr. Jones, the former Google executive. “The thing he cares about is pushing toward innovation.”

“I’ve also delegated this question to Sundar,” Mr. Page responded. “I help him think about it. But I don’t have to answer this question now.” He smiled, and the crowd laughed.



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Four fresh SNES games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online next week

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Things have been quiet on the Nintendo Switch Online front ever since the company dropped 20 classic SNES games onto its wildly popular hybrid console’s $20 a year subscription service back in September, but that’s about to change. Four more SNES games and two fresh NES games are coming on Dec. 12, Nintendo revealed Wednesday.

The SNES selection includes Star Fox 2, Super Punch-Out, Kirby Super Star and Breath of Fire 2. The tale of Star Fox 2 is pretty fascinating: It was planned for a summer 1995 release but canned because Nintendo didn’t want it to be overshadowed by Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. We finally got the chance to play it in 2017, when Nintendo hid it on the SNES Classic retro console.

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If Kirby’s dances don’t warm your heart, I’m sorry. Maybe playing Kirby Super Star will help.


Nintendo/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

If you want to go a bit more retro, the NES games — action RPG Crystalis and sci-fi platformer Journey to Silius — are both from 1990. The latter game was originally supposed to be a Terminator tie-in, but developer Sunsoft lost the rights.

Japanese subscribers get a different selection of games this time — no Super Punch-Out, Breath of Fire 2, Crystalis or Journey to Silius in that region. Instead, people in Japan get NES games Famicom Wars and Route 16 Turbo.

On Thursday, Nintendo said it sold 830,000 Switches and Switch Lites in the US over Thanksgiving weekend. It also plans to launch the console in China — a market of 1.3 billion people — on Dec. 10.

First published at 3:27 a.m. PT.
Updated at 4:09 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.



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Adtech firm Ogury raises $50 million to build data-privacy tools

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  • Five-year-old Ogury has raised $50 million to help marketers prepare for data privacy laws like the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • The firm sells consent-management software that apps use to collect consumers’ consent to show them ads. It also sells ad-targeting data to advertisers.
  • Thomas Pasquet, cofounder and co-CEO, said that Ogury is working on a product that will let consumers pay for content through money or data to access a publisher’s content.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Ogury, an adtech company that sells software to help publishers and advertisers collect data, has raised $50 million led by private equity firm Idinvest Partners as the ad industry grapples with new privacy laws. The new round brings the total raised by the London-based firm to $92 million. 

Ogury sells consent-management software that apps use to get consumers’ consent to share their data in order to view the apps’ content. Ogury then sells that data to advertisers for targeting. The company’s clients include game publisher IsCool, music-streaming app Audiomack and advertisers like Ralph Lauren and Bose. According to Ogury, 50% of consumers opt-in to share their data. 

Thomas Pasquet, cofounder and co-CEO, said the new funding would be used to invest in the US as marketers prepare for the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act that will restrict how marketers use data to target ads. Ogury also plans to open overseas offices in areas like Asia and create new data-privacy products.

“The entire industry is just waking up from the GDPR hangover and not realizing that CCPA is around the corner,” he said. “We’re aiming to build the first company where advertising is chosen and not imposed on users.”

Ogury is working on a product to open up new revenue streams for publishers

In the first quarter of next year, Ogury plans to launch a product that would allow publishers let users opt out of advertising if they pay for content with money or data. The product will also help publishers collect consent from users who view ads instead of paying.

Pasquet wouldn’t share Ogury’s revenue but said that the company made $100 million in 2018. This year, the firm will increase revenue by double digits, he said. Ogury has 400 employees and plans to add another 100 next year.

Pasquet also hinted that Ogury was open to acquiring other adtech companies.

“If we see a company that fits perfectly in our roadmap, we can choose to either build or buy it,” he said.



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